Causes of lethargy
There are very many possible causes of lethargy in dogs, examples include:
Any bacterial or viral infection that causes a fever (high temperature) is likely to make your dog feel very unwell and low on energy.
If your dog is overweight, they will have less energy and find it more difficult to move around. Your vet practice will be happy to help you get them on a weight loss plan and help them to become active again.
Anything that causes pain or discomfort such as arthritis is likely to make your dog feel under the weather and lethargic.
Kidney and Liver Disease
Diseases such as kidney and liver disease can cause sickness and make your dog feel low in energy.
Diseases that cause anaemia (low numbers of red blood cells) are likely to make your dog feel very tired after walks and much less active.
Untreated diabetes can cause extreme lethargy. This is because your dog is unable to use sugar in the bloodstream for energy. Other diseases like an underactive thyroid cause lethargy.
Heart and lung disease
Heart and lung disease can make it difficult for dogs to exercise.
Some prescribed medicines might make a dog feel lethargic. Speak to your vet if you notice any side effects after giving a prescribed medicine.
Some human medicines can be toxic to pets and many of them will make a dog lethargic if they are eaten accidentally. It’s very important to seek immediate veterinary treatment if your dog has eaten any medication that hasn’t been prescribed for them.
Dogs often eat things they shouldn’t – such as rat poisons. Some human foods such as onions or chocolate can cause stomach upsets and lethargy.